Hellohello friends! Before we even get into today’s topic, I first want to thank you for the kind and supportive comments on my last post. If having a balanced life was easy, then everyone would be living a perfect life! I just do what I can :)
I woke up not a happy camper today. I think it’s a combination of being run-down, fighting off some flu-like symptoms, and the fullness of the moon lately (yes, I believe in the effect of lunar cycles).
Thank goodness it’s Waffle Wednesday or I may have just resigned to my bed for the rest of the day. Now this is something worth getting out of bed for!!
Whipped up a batch of protein waffles (recipe found here) and topped with a mixture of plums, raisins, sugar-free syrup, cinnamon and sunflower seed butter.
Adding the topping just a bit at a time. I do not like soggy waffles!!
Now usually, I would stop here with the enticing waffle photos, but today I’m doing something a little different.
I want to show you the food photos that didn’t make the cut. Here are the ones you would have otherwise missed out on (all taken on my Canon EOS Rebel XS):
I usually take anywhere from 5-15 photos per dish. I aim to get a view from the top, from the side, and close-up. Most of the time photos are not used because they’re not as crisp as the others. Crispness is key. If it’s the least bit fuzzy, I don’t use it.
Chicken slices and laughing cow blue cheese on a pita with onions, tomatoes and spinach. I’m back to eating pitas and carrot sticks every day. One meal that I never tire of!
If this were a regular post, I would keep it to that one photo. But here are the other ones I captured…
I’m not a huge fan of the composition in the top photos. The bottom part of the pita that is closest to the camera is not what’s in focus. For some reason I get really bothered when the foreground is blurry and the background is focused. It’s my “thing” I guess. Also, the loser photos are either too shaded or too blanched out from the light. It’s tricky getting sunlight to hit textures juuuuuust right.
Lunch was polished off with an Adora disk. I got a bag of these for free at the Healthy Living Summit. I reallyreally like them. 30 calories a pop for a little piece of calcium infused chocolate.
The shots that didn’t make the cut:
One of my pet peeves is when people review a packaged good and don’t reveal what’s inside of the package. Instead of taking a shot of the chocolate in the wrapper, I decided to capture what the chocolate actually looks like along with the packaging. You get the best of both worlds in one frame :)
Also, I went for the angled shot here so you can see both the width and height of the chocolate. That way you get a better feel for its size. The last loser picture is very similar to the shot I chose. The only difference is that the chosen one has more of the chocolate in focus when enlarged. The area of focus on the loser one was too small.
Finally, there was dinner.
This bowl also got a lot of camera lovin’…
I really like doing long shots with plates and bowls because you get a feel for just how overflowing they can be. Plus, I kinda liked the packaged Ikea bed slats as the diagonal background ;) The close-up shots in this series unfortunately all turned out blurry, so they were ditched. The bottom two turned out okay, but were too similar in composition to the first photo I chose. If I’m going for more than one photo of a dish, I want them all to come from noticeably different angles.
And that my friends is a little peek into my camera!! I always joke that if someone were to steal it on me, they’d think they stole the camera of a crazy person. Which I guess may partially be true ;)
I’m taking the day off from blogging on Thursday, but if there are any requests for what you’d like featured on Fitness Friday this week, let me know!
Question of the Day: Food bloggers – do you photograph all your food? How many shots do you take per dish? I obviously don’t photograph everything. But I do admit to sometimes featuring boring food on here just because I think the picture turned out pretty :)
Today was a day of fabulousness. <—Also fabulous is that “fabulousness” is a word according to my Windows Live Writer.
Anyways, here are all of the day’s fabulous events in order of occurrence:
1. Andy Schleck edged out Alberto Contador for the yellow jersey in Stage 9 today at the Tour de France.
2. I received three times the amount of money I was expecting for my tax return.
3. I got that job I interviewed for yesterday and reallyreally wanted (!!!!)
4. I celebrated all these fabulous things with a fabulous meal with fabulous bloggers tonight :)
Okay. I will stop using the word fabulous ;)
So about that job? I’ll be doing personal training in a Toronto-area gym starting next week! It really is the perfect gym and ideal situation for me and I could not be happier about it :D Of course, I won’t start making any money until I get clients, so that extra boost I got from the government today definitely helps!!
For all the wonderful things that happened today, it was actually a pretty lazy morning and afternoon.
Started with a Toronto-style bagel topped with butter + mixed berry jam.
With a side of microwaved egg whites topped with laughing cow cheese. All on a Wall-E plate ;)
I had full intentions on going to the gym before lunch, so I thought a Run Glo Bar would be an appropriate pre-gym snack.
I love the idea of a small nutrition bar meant specifically as pre-run fuel.
Again, I liked how you could really taste the peanut butter, and it had dates! Those are always my go-to pre-run snack! I can totally see this being easily digested for energy before a run.
Except, I didn’t end up going to the gym after eating this. I got caught up in the last 20k of today’s Tour de France, and then the Harry Potter book I’m reading started calling my name.
I mixed some of my leftover white bean-pork-mushroom-pesto with chopped green pepper, red onion, zucchini, beets and feta. Holy delicious. I ate it cold like a salad and it was awesome!
I eventually did make it to the gym late this afternoon. Walked the 25 minutes there because I was too lazy (or impatient) to wait for the streetcar. I know this doesn’t make sense. Can you tell I was in a mood today?? :P
Went straight to the weight room and tortured myself thusly:
|Deadlift||65 lbs||12||3||Lower back, glutes, thighs|
|Forward lunge||40 lbs ea||20||3||Quads, glutes|
|Reverse fly||10 lbs ea||12||3||Upper back|
|Jump squats||bodyweight||20||3||Quads, glutes|
|Dumbbell bench press||20 lbs ea||12||3||Chest|
|One arm dumbbell snatch||20 lbs||12||3||Shoulder, quads, glutes|
|Lateral raise w/ side lunge||5 lbs ea||12||3||Top/side shoulder, inner thighs, quads|
|Cable pushdown||45 lbs||12||3||Triceps|
|Single arm cable curl||10 lbs||12||3||Biceps|
|Stability ball leg curl||bodyweight||12||3||Hamstrings, hips, calves|
Colour coded to indicate straight or alternating sets! I really hated doing the jump squats between sets, so I know it was good for me :P I then proceeded to walk home in the humidity. I was starved by the time I got back!
I also snacked up on a little extra protein…
I may have also been filling up on protein because of the blogger meet-up I had in store!!
Rawlicious has a juicer on hand so I figured I might as well take advantage of it to continue the fight against this never-ending cold I have.
Veggie juice: celery, cucumber, parsley, carrot.
We also ordered a Nacho Platter for the table: the classic trio of Guacamole, “Sour Cream” & Salsa, served with sliced green olives, green onions, hot banana peppers and a pile of Rawlicious Nacho Chips.
Excuse the blurry picture, but I had to just say the raw tortilla chips were awesome! As was the “sour cream.” The consensus was that it was probably cashew based. I say it was based of deliciousness.
Everything on the menu sounded so unique and amazing. I finally ended up with a Taco Wrap: Seasoned Nut-Loaf, Guacamole, chopped Tomatoes, Red Onion, shredded Romaine, Salsa and Nut Cheese.
Thumbs up!!! I asked for it without the guacamole (“allergic”) but otherwise everything on it tasted great! The nut-loaf was a little spicy and had a great crumbly texture. The nut cheese reminded me a little of hummus. I really enjoyed this, and for being a raw meal, it was pretty darn filling!!
When the waitress asked if we wanted to see the tea menu after the meal, I couldn’t help but take part.
Knowing it was getting close to my bedtime, I chose one of the “non-caffeineted” ones, Rooibos Samarkhand: Rooibos, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Calendula & Rose Petals.
All served in a cute little mug to boot. Good for my sinuses!
There may have also been a little raw dessert action…
Much better than my last raw dessert experience. Y’all know I’m a butter and sugar girl, but this raw brownie was definitely tasty! It was mostly coconut based, but my favourite part was the icing, which I think had something to do with coconut butter.
Fun fact: Callie (right) and I are driving to Chicago together for the Healthy Living Summit!! Blogger road trip?? Yesplease :)
I’m pumped that Sarah (left) and Angela (right) will also be at the Healthy Living Summit! Also, props to Jessica (mid-right) for suggesting the restaurant. It was a total win, and I have a feeling we’ll be going back to the “Zen Den” till we’ve tried everything on the menu!!
I should also thank Laura for her TTC tips (Toronto Transit Commission). Thankfully, I didn’t have to act crazier than the crazy people on the subway to stay safe on the way home. Another win!!
And with that, I bid you a goodnight!! *muah!*
Hellooo!! How was everyone’s weekend?? Everyone watch the soccer match? Don’t care? I’m indifferent, it’s Tour de France season people!!! :P
I have this bad habit of walking into bakeries, not to buy anything, but just to drool over the things they have on display. I found one not too far from my new place that had some Toronto-style bagels (as opposed to Montreal style). I asked the clerk what made them Toronto style and she had no idea. Thanks.
I had one for breakfast on Saturday topped with laughing cow cheese and egg whites.
After blogging yesterday, I really did drag my sorry butt to the gym. I told myself I’d take it easy, and that’s just what I did. 35 minutes of sprint intervals on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the rowing machine, and 15 minutes of torture on the stepmill. Amazing how good an hour at the gym can make you feel for the rest of the day!!
Popped the rest of the tempeh in the toaster oven with chopped onion and bbq sauce. Stuffed it in a pita with feta, tomatoes and romaine.
I perhaps owe my first born to Lori for introducing me to the bbq-feta combo. SO good!! I still enjoyed the tempeh, however be forewarned, it’s not for everyone. I’ve heard it get compared to stinky feet before.
For dinner I went in the opposite direction. Traded in my vegetarian protein for some animal protein.
Went to the grocery store and found these pork loins on sale. I then made up the following combination in my head as I browsed the grocery store aisles. Most of my dinners are created that way!
Seared the chops on either side first, then cut them up and added white kidney beans, whole mushrooms and pesto to the pan.
Meanwhile, I prepared a salad of simple garden veggies, including beets and olives because they rock my socks.
You know what happened next…
Haha, you can see the difference between the low light in my kitchen and the natural light in my living room. Anyways, the pork-bean-mushroom-pesto combo was amazing. Another great grocery store brainwave!!
And would you believe it if I said I was in bed before midnight last night? Yup! My body needed it as it’s still trying to fight off a stupid cold.
I woke up 9 hours later and immediately threw on my running gear for what ended up being a very hot 4-4.5 miles. I’d had intentions of being out earlier to run before the heat set in, but I slept too long!! It actually wasn’t that bad for being my first run in almost two weeks. But I am so happy I didn’t sign up for a half-marathon this year. I can’t imagine training in this heat. I’ll take the stepmill in my air conditioned gym anytime ;)
I was still sweating even after taking a cold shower. I’d dreamed of thick and fluffy oatmeal pancakes but somewhere something went horribly wrong.
I made my usual protein pancake recipe (with 1/3 cup measurements) and didn’t bother blending it. They stuck to the pan!! I ended up with what looked like scrambled oatmeal.
Some people may have thrown them out, but not I. Instead, I slathered them in almond butter.
Then topped with yogurt, strawberries, blackberries and sugar-free syrup.
And you know what? They tasted fantastic!!
I made sure not to fill up on too many pancakes though, I had to save my appetite!!
Suddenly, I don’t feel so strange for taking pictures of my food ;)
Angela and I decided that a big healthy-living blogger fiesta was in order once I arrived in the city. She picked Calico Cafe based on their yummy looking vegan brunch menu and their ability to take large reservations! SO happy so many people could make it.
Seriously you guys, how freakin’ lucky am I to be surrounded by so many fabulous women?? Also, anyone else ever notice that healthy living bloggers are always gorgeous and well dressed?? Just sayin!
I ordered a chai iced tea to drink. Picture on the left was taken with my stock Canon Rebel lens, picture on the right was taken with Callie’s 50mm lens. Apparently they’re only 150 bucks or so and take stunning food photographs! I want one.
Like many vegan restaurants, the menu at Calico Cafe is very unique. I ended up with a vegan omelette: creamy seitan filling, with potatoes, salad, toast + jam.
The waiter told me the omelette was a mix of tofu and cornbread, but wouldn’t reveal anything else ;) This was my first time trying seitan and I really enjoyed it. It had a similar texture to tofu and was perfectly spiced in this dish.
Thank you for coming out everyone!! I had a blast gabbing with them about everything from photography to seaweed to yoga. Next Sunday we’re doing a blogger potluck picnic, so if you couldn’t make it this time, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details!! :)
While delicious, my meal wasn’t very filling. I was hungry again by the time I got home.
I really enjoyed the taste of this bar. The peanut butter really stuck out, and the huge chunks of cranberry were nice. I also really dig the incredibly gooey and crispy texture. Thank you Angela!! Hopefully I’ll get to see you in Oakville soon ;)
On that note, I am going to wrap up this incredibly long post and leave you to the rest of your day. I’m off to read a book. Don’t be fooled by how smart that statement sounds, I’m reading Harry Potter for the gazillionth time ;)
Question of the Day: What was the best thing you ate all weekend?? I love asking this question because I always get such great answers!! Mine was the above “oatmeal scramble.” Kitchen disaster turned kitchen fluke!